April 4, 2017

Handwritten Quilt Labels Tutorial and How to Reverse Text in Word

Last month during the Instagram Quilt Fest (#IGQuiltFest) sponsored by @AmysCreativeSide I showed a handwritten quilt label when the prompt for the day was quilt labels.  Linda at Flourishing Palms commented that she usually generates hers by computer and I replied with a brief description of my way of hand writing quilt labels.  It's now my favorite to way to make quilt labels.

This is the quilt label for Well Rounded Single Girl which, by the way, is on its way to Paducah this week to be in the AQS Spring Paducah show later this month.  The label is handwritten, but I actually started it on the computer.

So today, I have a tutorial to share about how I print the quilt label information in reverse onto freezer paper, the freezer paper can then be ironed to the back of your label fabric.  Then using a light source, you are able to trace the information onto the label.  It also helps the fabric from shifting while hand writing your quilt label since it is ironed to the freezer paper.

Let's get started!  You will need:
·         Computer with Microsoft Word or word processing software able to reverse text
·         Inkjet printer
·         Freezer paper such as Quilter's Freezer Paper Sheets 8 1/2" x 11" by      C & T Publishing (affiliate link

·         Fabric for label and facing, two pieces least 6" x 6" depending on amount of label information
·         Iron (dry setting)
·         Permanent fabric marker such as Pigma Micron 02 or Zig Millennium 05 (shown below)
·         Light source such as a light box or sunny window
·         Water soluble glue or fusible such as Wonder Tape to hold label in place
·         Needle and thread for hand sewing

Creating a Text Box in MS Word

1.  Open Microsoft Word to a new blank document.

2.  Under the Insert tab, choose Text Box in the Text section of the Formatting Toolbar.  And then choose Simple Text Box.

3.  Inside the text box, type the information desired on the label.  You may want to include information such as:
  • quilt title
  • quilt dimensions
  • date completed
  • recipient
  • quilter's name
  • contact info such as address, email and phone number
  • pattern name
  • materials such as fabric line, type of batting and thread

4.  Edit the text to the desired font, size or other formatting such as bold. I like the font, Bradley Hand ITC, with a size 22 to 25. Your text box should look something like this.

Reversing the Text

1.  Highlight the text within the text box.  Once the text is highlighted, the area around the text should be colored, usually blue.

2.   Click on the Format tab that will appear on the Menu Bar.

3.  Under WordArt Styles on the formatting toolbar, expand the Format Text Effects Text Box as shown.

4.  Choose 3-D Rotation from the left pane.

5.  Under the Rotation section, change the X setting to 180 degrees as shown in the Format Text Box.

6.  Click Close and once you click off of the text box, the text will magically reverse, like the image below.

Printing the Template and Hand Writing the Quilt Label

1.  Print the text box using an ink jet printer onto the paper side of freezer paper (not the shiny side).

2.   Trim the freezer paper along the outer edges of the text box.

Quilt label information printed in reverse onto freezer paper

3.  Center and iron the freezer paper to the back of your label fabric.

4.  Place the label over a light source, with the fabric side up, and trace the label information using a permanent marker.

5.  Remove the freezer paper and press the label to set the ink.

Finishing and Sewing on the Quilt Label

1. Using a rotary cutter and ruler, trim the quilt label to the desired size. I usually trim 1/2" beyond the text all the way around with the cutting line shown in red.

2.  Take the second piece of fabric for the facing and trim to the same size as the label.  I always use the same fabric as the label.

3.  Cut a a vertical slit approximately 2" to 3" through the center of the label facing which will allow for turning once sewn together.

4.  Place the label and label facing right sides together. Sew around the perimeter with a 1/4" seam allowance rounding the corners. Trim seam allowance in the corners to 1/8" and clip close to the seam line. I have found that rounding the corners reduces bulky corners to turn and sew.

5.  Turn right side out and press. Now don't do like I did on this sample label, I measured wrong and cut it a little too close to the text.

6.  With needle and thread, hand sew the label to back of the quilt, just catching the label facing fabric when stitching.  A small amount of washable fabric glue or fusible such as Wonder Tape may be applied to the back of the label to hold in place while stitching.

Back of quilt label with facing attached and wonder tape used to hold in place while sewing on by hand

Here you can see the a close up of the label where I stitched through the label facing and not the label when sewing down on the quilt.

This method might seem time consuming, but once you are comfortable with reversing the text in Word, it goes rather quickly.

By creating the label facing, it eliminates the need to press under the raw edges and try to keep it turned under as you are sewing it onto the back of the quilt.

Here's the label for Clementine Daisy.

And here's the label for Barcelona.  This quilt was designed using the Quick Curve Ruler and I used the ruler making the quilt label too.  I just realized I never really blogged about this one, but I included a picture of it in my introductory post the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers blog hop. (The Zig Millennium pens can be found in the scrapbooking section.)

Quilt label for Barcelona and permanent pens I use

Please let me know if I haven't made something clear or if you have any questions.  

If you would like to give this method of creating a tracing template a try, leave a comment letting me know and I will pick a name or two on Thursday evening and glady mail you a couple sheets of the Quilter's freezer paper.

Remember, no quilt is complete until you add a label!

Now, head on over to Flourshing Palms, where Linda will show you her method for creating labels on the computer.  And, I hear she has a giveaway!

Linking to Tips and Tutorials with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl.


  1. Thank you for sharing your method for creating labels, a quilt's final touch! I'm Pinning this so I can refer back when I have a finish!

  2. Wow, this is so easy, I did a practice trial, and bingo, there it is.Fantastic, and thank you so much for the tutorial. Heaps better than any other way.

  3. Thank you for sharing this, with the steps! I'm definitely going to give this a try! Wendy at piecefulthoughts@gmail.com

  4. Thank you Paige, I didn't know we could reverse word in MSW! I hate my handwriting so this will help a lot for when I actually do a label!

  5. Thanks Paige! I use a similar but more complicated approach! I really like the idea of facing the label!

  6. Very nice. I appreciate your sharing!

  7. I definitely will be trying this method. Thank you Paige for sharing.

  8. Well this is certainly a unique method for making labels. I've never come across it before, and I like it! I went into my MacBook Pages software and figured out how to mirror the text. For anyone interested, select the text to highlight it blue (just as you did in Word), then from the menu choose Arrange, followed by Flip Horizontally. Voilá! Nice to have an alternate method, especially when yours looks more personalized by being "handwritten." Good stuff, Paige! I'm so pleased we could share our blog posts this way.

  9. This is a wonderful tutorial and I really like how it gives nice edges on the label for sewing down on top of being neatly written and aligned. Thank you so much for sharing and linking up!

    1. I really appreciate how tidy and beautiful your labels are; thanks for linking up!

  10. This tutorial is so great, I am saving this on my Pinterest Board and will be printing it so I can have it handy. This method is absolutely do-able, I love it. Thanks for sharing Bee Bud!

  11. Making the label for my quilts is my most unliked and most dreaded part of making a quilt. I have several quilts uncompleted, according to your statement. Thanks for making your this tutorial clear and easy to understand; I think even I should be able to follow it. I would like to try this method. kthurn(at)bektel(dot)com

  12. What a lovely method!! I really like how smooth the edges are! So much neater than my turned corner needle turned labels! and the freezer paper to keep your text in line is brilliant! I usually just print on printer paper and hold the fabric and paper up on a window and trace :) I definitely will be trying this method--thanks!

  13. Great tutorial! As you know I need some help in the labeling department :)

  14. Hi Paige, your method is very interesting, and thank you for the tutorial. I iron my fabric to the freezer paper and print on my printer which is slightly different, but I am really pleased with the further info you gave regarding the set up on the computer. My method is a bit hit and miss. I am going to follow you, thanks to Linda. :-)

  15. A great and very useful tutorial Paige, I will have to try your method. I use Word a lot but I have never used this feature, I will definitely look into it more.

  16. Thank you for sharing your interesting and clever method Paige ! I'm not the best at labelling my quilts ... But I'll think of you next time I finish one :-)

  17. Great tutorial! I will need to give this a try. I think labels are so important!

  18. Paige, thanks for the info on your method of labels. I do sometimes use freezer paper to make mine, and I've used the light box over a printed text on paper, but never both at the same time.! I never knew how to reverse writing in a text box on Word. That was great news for me. I may have to try your method on my next quilt label now that I know more about how to use Word. Thank you so much.!

  19. I agree with you - no quilt is complete until it has that label! I've seen people use the Micron pens as well as computer printed labels. Again, I have the same question: Do they last through the multiple washings? I usually hand/machine embroider mine simply because I'm not sure about ink based labels. Thank you so much for this great tutorial! I love the idea about using interfacing on the back of the label! I am using this technique to sew on my Quilty 365 circles. Again, thank you so much for sharing!

  20. I love this Paige! Pinning this for future reference. Have to admit, I am awful about labeling quilts. Do you happen to know how the Micron pen holds up to laundering? Does it last??